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22O                            LETTERS   FROM   THE

end is a very good marble copy of the Apollo of
Belvedere, which Gontaut brought from Rome.
The conservatory is kept in a most slovenly
manner, and has nothing in it but flowerless
lilacs.

Gontaut's wife was rendered very unhappy by
his conduct in the Revolution, and by her own
losses. He has been courting the daughter of a
famous Madame Case, who once was a great
beauty and made a great noise;1 but his nose has
been put out of joint by his son.

June 28th, 1797.

Monsieur and Mademoiselle de Maulde have
returned to spend a few days with me, which will
enliven my evenings should the rain continue;
but in fact they have brought back the sunshine,

I   know  not yet  when  I   am   to  remove   to

i Madame d'Esparbes, a near relation of this lady,
was once an inmate of the Parc-aux-Cerfs, and was so
capricious and immoral in her liaisons, that Louis XV. at
length lost all patience, and rebuked her, saying, "How,
madam, can you expect me to have the slightest regard for
you, when I know that you are in love with half my sub-
jects ? What excuse have you ? " " Ah, sire 1" replied she,
pretending to blush, ."I am so kind-hearted." "Why,
there is Choiseul," continued the King. "He is so power-